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New bike
Hello, Thanks for considering helping me.

I am looking to get a new mountain bike and I wasn't sure what to get. I would like to do some high school xc races, but I also want a bike that I can ride on other trails. What I am thinking is kind of like 2/3 xc, 1/3 trail. Right know I have a 2015 trek marlin 6 (I know, old and outdated 🙂) I am thinking that I would like to buy a bike used and my budget is around 2000.
If it helps, I am about 6 foot, and I am supposed to get to about 6'2'' so I would need a large or extra large. I also weight about 135 pounds, and live in Utah, where there is a lot of mountains and climbing.
These are my priorities:
1. Carbon for a hardtail, or at least Aluminum for a FS
2. Has at least a decent (hopefully good) fork, wheels, and groupset
3. I would like to have carbon wheels but it isn't necarry
4. No more than 100-120 mm of suspension
5. I would like a dropper post but this is more of just a bonus
6. 29 inch wheels would be better but I would also take a 27.5
7. Less or about 25 lbs for a hardtail, 30 for a FS
Note: I know that I probably can't get all of this stuff, but this is all stuff I would like if I had an infinite budget.

These are some of my ideas:
2015 Specialized Epic Elite Carbon World Cup
This is really perfect for what I think I want, but I would like to consider other options.
2015 Carbon Cannondale Lefty XT
Of the hardtails, this is one of the best I found.

I am leaning more towards a full suspension, because I think that it would be better suited for the types of trails and for the places where I like to ride, but a hardtail isn't out yet.

I would also like to know if you have any suggestions of bikes or places to buy used bikes.

Thank you so much!
(02-24-2021, 05:20 PM)ILv2MTB Wrote:  Hello, Thanks for considering helping me.

I am looking to get a new mountain bike and I wasn't sure what to get.
I would also like to know if you have any suggestions of bikes or places to buy used bikes.
Thank you so much!

Welcome to the site!
I don't know squat about mtb's; surprised no one has replied with any recommendations and feedback on your potential picks.
As far as buying used bikes go I am well versed in those types of purchases. If you are buying a new bike you should (within reason) be able to get the right size bike, or get a custom built ($$) frame specific to your size. If you do not have a very good idea as to your fit, you need to determine it either via online means (there are many frame fitting sites out there), or at a bike shop (some charge for this and some do not).
If you see a used bike that is your size you will need to take a test ride (the longer the better, and on the different terrains you plan to ride); inspect bike frame and components thoroughly and ensure it is safe to ride. I would not purchase a used carbon mtb (I am very wary of carbon road frames also) unless it essentially looks unused. You have no idea what stresses a previously owned frame has been through, damage (seen and unseen) can occur from regular use, and from other means.
There are many sources for used bikes:
bike shops- where one would expect the bike to be fully serviced and possibly carry some sort of limited warranty and service perks. Still if a carbon frame (or any mtb frame for that matter) you take a chance, I would specifically ask for some sort of buyer protection regarding potential frame issues. This will probably be the most expensive source for a used frame, but should provide the greatest peace of mind, and will allow best opportunity for a proper fit and thorough test ride (also helps build a rapport with a shop).
EBay- you can get a great deal there, but you need to be patient or lucky. I find the majority of ebay prices inflated for "buy it now" purchases; auctions are hit or miss, and prices are generally governed by those participating (seller starting prices and reserve price can affect end cost); and shipping charges widely vary (in general, much over $100 for domestic non-expedited shipping is not practical unless you get a really good deal on the purchase cost). Usually photos are insufficient, and you need to ask the seller for better quality and more detailed pics. Frame sizes are either nonexistent, insufficient, or are inacurrate (ask for specifics about dimensions and how they were done); also ask if the seller knows it's history (trust factor?); do all of this before bidding if an auction. Major problem with this type of purchase is that there is no "hands on" (inspection, fit, test ride) experience prior to purchase; many sellers do not allow for returns based only on buyer's remorse so check for any return provisions or directly ask the seller. There many other sites similar to eBay, as well as online bike shops, but they all have essentially the same issues previously outlined.
Craigslist and similar sites will allow you to find something local and you dealing the owner/user (usually) of the bike. I find that it is a very good means to get a good deal (you can haggle a bit if you try), and you get to see the the and take a basic test ride unless the seller allows you to take the bike for a day to check it out; usually requiring a full price deposit (get a signed receipt for your $, and a statement that specifies you are allowed to test the bike; but if you damage it you bought it!). I have seen bikes selling for one quarter or less of their value on Craigslist; many being "garage queens", bought new but never really ridden for various reasons; owner is moving (common in college towns); was a family member's bike who outgrew, got injured, etc. Again, a hit or miss affair finding a bike near enough to you, in your size, and with your your desired features/options.
If you do an online fit you may want to try to test ride a friend's bike that is about your size or the same size as what you are looking for, or go to a bike shop and ask to test ride a bike of your size (you usually need to show some intent to purchase from them, but still are not obligated to unless that is their requirement).
The saddle can easily make or break an otherwise perfect bike; if you have a saddle known to be comfortable to you, bring it and do testing using your saddle, as well as the installed saddle (if included!). This can also apply to pedals; it is very common for us cyclists to keep our pedals, hard to test without them; but usually a cheap pair (new or used, borrowed or bought) will get you by when testing.
Finally, as to your potential growth, that is difficult. Possibly a good reason not to go too overboard on this bike, replacing it when you stop growing with the dream bike you desire; plus now you would have ample riding experience and would be more able to dial-in the exact frame size, design (hard tail, FS, or full susp., etc.), components, and features. That doesn't mean you can't buy a bike taking into consideration your growth, but I would not go more than one size (maybe 2 sizes) up. You can always adjust saddle height, adjust/replace bar stem height and reach, and change crank length. I would consult a couple bike shops regarding this to see what their advice is. I am lucky with road bikes in that I can comfortably ride frames 4 sizes smaller and 8 times larger than my optimal fit due to my body type and flexibility, but that is rare for most, and requires good knowledge of what your body can handle and how to optimize component sizes to each frame given its height and reach. I would not be able to do that with a mtb given its intended use. My only mtb is an 80s rigid steel frame (great bike though) so that gives you an idea as to my experience regarding newer frame designs and technology.

Good luck!
Take care,

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
Thanks. That was really helpful.

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